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On Her Majesty's Secret Service Review


Very Good
George Lazenby took Bond's reins from Sean Connery in this sixth 007 outing, an unfairly oft-maligned film that, while distinctively different than the rest of the series, is still quite fun to watch. Where to begin? The love story? Lazenby has an honest to god love montage with Diana Rigg, playing a mobster's daughter, who he later teams up (and actually marries) with to track down Blofeld (now played by Telly Savalas), who got away in You Only Live Twice. He finds Blofeld living on a mountaintop, running a clinic for women with allergies(!)... which is naturally just a front for nefarious ends to destroy the world's economy though mind control. Oddly, Blofeld no longer recognizes Bond, who's dressed in a kilt as a geneology researcher... which may all account for the film's lackluster reputation.

It's a big movie, with good stunts, virtually no gadgets, plenty of fisticuffs, and maybe more sex than any of the series' other installments. Even Lazenby is not half bad, though he pales in comparison to Connery, who would return for one more run as Bond in Diamonds Are Forever.

Continue reading: On Her Majesty's Secret Service Review

Battle Of The Bulge Review


Good
This is the kind of a film around which rumors of a 212-minute print swirl, on the net, in chat rooms, and message boards. Only films that have garnered either cult or classic appeal can claim "hype" like that. No one talks about footage missing from the domestic release cut of Battlefield Earth, no one gripes about a supposed 245-minute version of The Cat in the Hat. But a quick Internet search will reveal endless web pages devoted to the missing scenes in Blade Runner, the 5-hour print of Apocalypse Now, and apparently the 212-minute cut of Battle of the Bulge. That tells you something. This 1965 war "classic" is a war film buff's The Third Man, Casablanca, or Some Like It Hot. It might not be the best WWII epic ever made (that honor, according to the same fans, is allotted to either The Longest Day, Patton, or Cross of Iron) but it is one of the most popular. Well, now we have a 170-minute cut of the film, and it's been heralded with a gorgeous DVD transfer. And you've got to wonder why.

Sure, there's a star-studded cast. Let's see, we've got: Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Dana Andrews, Robert Ryan, Telly Savalas, and Charles Bronson. And it is an epic. We're talking a cast of thousands with battle scene recreations that make modern warfare flicks pale in comparison. But when all the dust settles, Battle of the Bulge is a really long, really talky movie. And that's fine for history buffs, WWII film fans, and their ilk, but for the casual Friday night viewer it's a cure for insomnia.

Continue reading: Battle Of The Bulge Review

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